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Why The Recent Cyber Attack On The NHS Is An Important Lesson For Us All

Published on 17/05/2017

On Friday 12th May 2017 the NHS reported a large scale cyber security attack affecting 47 NHS trusts across England and 13 in Scotland, the latest in a string of high-profile cyber-attacks on large organisations.

But what about smaller companies which don’t recognise the risks? Undoubtedly, some of these companies have been affected, yet it is only the attacks on well-known organisations which get publicised.

Why does this matter and why is this being brought to your attention?

As our consumption and dependence on computer based technology increases, data and application security is also becoming more significant. There are many preventative measures you can take to deter the majority of criminals from trying to access your system.

Simple things such as ensuring your applications and firewalls are always updated is a good starting point. It is also important to have an established recovery plan in-place before an event happens, as you cannot implement this after an attack has taken place. Other preventative measures include ensuring you have multi-versioned backups, preferably encrypted and stored in off-site locations. By encrypting your files or by using full drive encryption you can help to prevent information being stolen or accessed.

Securing the source code and data for your critical applications in Escrow ensures that a clean copy of the application and data is stored off site and can be released to you in the event of a cyber-attack. However, it is important that the source code and data secured in Escrow is frequently updated to guarantee the deposit is as accurate as possible. Before you utilise the release of clean source code and data from Escrow, do not go back online until you have found the root cause as you will just become a victim for the second time. Once you are certain you’re no longer vulnerable re-install the clean application and data from the Escrow deposit and bring your core services online.

We also have consultants in-house who are EC Council Certified Ethical Hackers and can provide advice and consultancy to identify potential vulnerabilities in your environment and ensure it remains as secure as possible.

Ransomware attacks are particularly vicious. Go offline and isolate all known infections and then make sure you do not recover files to system that may still be compromised otherwise you will find yourself fighting another event.

To find out more about how Escrow can form an integral part of your disaster recovery plan to protect against effects of a cyber-attack or speak to one of our consultants about our consultancy services, please get in touch and one of our specialists will get back to you within one business day. 

 

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